Date: 19th June 2013 at 10:47am
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SimonBigRon is next for the Vital Villa interview.

SimonBigRon is next for the Vital Villa interview.

1) When did you become a Villa fan and why?

Surely you’re fed up of hearing this story year in, year out? Italia ’90. David Platt. That’s the short version. The long version is my Dad pretending he had a squash game near Villa Park then springing a surprise match ticket on me. I was about 9 and saw Platty score 3 against Spurs.

2) What is your favourite Villa moment of all time/most treasured memory?

I was born a few days shy of the European Cup Win so missed my favourite Villa moment. So I think a weird personal memory that will be hard to beat is when Zat Knight scored that equaliser against Arsenal in the last minute on Boxing day about 5 year ago. We were two down and it would have been a real dent to our top 4 dream. We looked like real competitors that day.

3) If you could bring back a former Villa player into this team (at his peak) who would it be and why?

Given the goals we shipped last year you’d think Laursen or McGrath, but no, I’d say Gareth Barry. We lost the midfield battle too often last year and he’d do the job.

4) Paul Lambert? Your opinion please?

Enjoyed his style of football this year. Just think he needs to word stuff differently in press conferences as he can be a bit dour. When talking about our transfers it shouldn’t be ‘we can’t buy player x’ it should be ‘we don’t want player x because we are trying to build a squad of hungry, sensibly played players that will benefit us in the long run.’

5) Best and worst moments of last season?

Chelsea away was the worst. Liverpool away was the best. Or maybe Stoke away.

But the feeling I had every 19th minute made those the best moments of all.

6) Some say last season was a success, others not so much. What is your opinion?

I think when you put what we are doing now in context the club is doing the right thing, so last season was a success in as much as we didn’t go down. It was close though. Going down would have been a disaster.
Football will eat itself whether it is now or in 20 years. We are in a Premier League boom at the moment and evidence of the coming bust (Portsmouth, Blackburn, Rangers etc) is there to see. Someone on the radio last night made the great point that the high earners aren’t the problem; it’s the numerous average players on huge sums. We were guilty of falling into that trap and paid the price. Eventually all the clubs doing this will have to cut their cloth, and the fact is we are now ahead of the game in blooding youth so will hopefully benefit in years to come.

7) Your opinion of Randy Lerner and the board?

I think they’ve made mistakes on the PR side of things, and I don’t know what Mr. Lerner was thinking when he first arrived at Villa, allowing us to get into the mess that has now nearly cost us our Premier League status. The ‘five-year plan’ was very naive to say the least.
Now, I think he is showing his true business brain and we are definitely on the right track. As fans we do need to forget about buying the big players and adjust our expectations accordingly. Given our amazing scouts (Guzan, Benteke, Cahill, Barry, Whittingham, A Young etc) I have a lot of faith in them unearthing ‘big’ players before they are big.

The one caveat to that is if we don’t remain competitive (that means at least feel we have a chance in any given match, not the Houllier ‘we can’t win that match’ nonsense) we won’t keep any of these decent signings longer than a year. So the board just need to keep that in mind, because there is a bit of a lottery element to buying young and it won’t always work out.

8) Which player/s should Villa sign this summer?

Hungry, young players who will work harder on the pitch than their overpaid counterparts at other clubs.

9) Which player/s should Villa get rid of this summer?

Bent. Utterly the wrong player for us and the guy deserves to play for a team where he has service all day long. He’d do an amazing job ahead of Mata, Oscar and Hazard at Chelsea. He’s a luxury we can’t afford at Villa.

10) Favourite current player?


11) Who was your first footballing hero and who are your favourite all time player/s?

I used to love Platt as a boy but can’t stand him now. I really like Stan Collymore and think despite his personal issues in the past he has risen above them to become a really intelligent and thoughtful pundit, even if sometimes he needs to listen to what other people are saying and let then speak.

12) What do you expect us to do/finish this season?

Premier: 8th
FA Cup: Eliminated at the first stage.
Carling: Semis.

13) You can ask yourself any question you want to about Villa and what is your answer?

Should we applaud in the 19th minute next season?
Absolutely no. It was a great, amazing, humane gesture this season but Stan is on the mend and in a recent interview I think he made a joke about how it might go on forever… We’ve been brilliant this year but applauding next year is just going to keep reminding the bloke he had a life-threatening illness once-upon-a-time. I’m sure he wants to put the whole thing behind him now and not be defined by his illness. We should celebrate Stan by cheering the players he now coaches in every minute of every game next season.

14) Just to change the theme slightly, a snap shot of you outside of football, answer or ignore at your leisure:
(based on our WHO ARE YOU thread!!!)

a) Which celebrity/s would you most like to meet and why? Noam Chomsky. Legend
b) Age 31
c) Location: Oxford these days
d) Favourite alcoholic drink: Lager
e) Favourite non-alcoholic drink: Milk
f) Favourite Film/s: Bob Roberts, Ghostbusters
g) Favourite TV Show/s: The Wire, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Peepshow
h) Music?: Bad Religion
i) Best ever moment in your life: {not answered}
j) Ambitions: Seeing Villa win something
k) Wise words: Never look any horse in the mouth!

Now your turn, how to submit an interview: click here

Other interviews:

Villan in Exile
The Facehead
Draig Cymraeg

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